Joshua Smith holds a joint faculty appointment in the Allen School and the UW Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. He leads the Sensor Systems Laboratory, which invents new sensor systems, devises new ways to power them, and develops algorithms for using them. The group's research has application in the domains of robotics, ubiquitous computing, and HCI.
Projects include the battery-free mobile phone, RF-powered cameras, FREE-D (wireless power for Left Ventricular Assist Devices, a type of artificial heart); WARP, extracting power from TV and cell phone towers; and WISP, fully-programmable sensing and computing platforms that are powered by RFID readers. In the area of robotics, the group works on sensing techniques to support mobile manipulation and personal robotics. Smith's group has a Willow Garage PR2 robot and is developing a variety of novel sensors aimed at improving robotic manipulation.